DEXTER - On Tuesday January 23rd, and 30th, the Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter will hold a forum to examine the many aspects involved in this new school issue. We invite the public to join us at 7 P.M. for an open and relaxed discussion of the proposed new K-8 school for MSAD 46.
In 1991 the construction of a new middle school to be built on property owned by Horace and Perry McKenney on Rte. 94 the Garland Road was proposed by the MSAD 46 School Board. In a vote conducted in September of that year, it was defeated by a vote of 997 to 718. Exeter was the only town to vote in favor of the measure. Dexter voters soundly defeated the proposal by a 741 to a 475 vote. In the following years, MSAD 46 middle school students have continued to learn under crowded and less than ideal conditions. Most MSAD 46 residents agree that the present building needs to be replaced.
In a July 2006 MSAD 46 straw poll there was a large positive vote for the site selected for the new school on the Fern property outside of Dexter. Another straw vote is due in February to decide on the building concept, with a final referendum vote on the project in March.
Governor Baldacci recently landed a bombshell on Maine and this project when he proposed cutting school districts in Maine from 152 to 26. Dexter would now be part of a large district with 7,000 students spread over a large area. Local school boards would be abolished, and according to Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron, "...there is pretty strong support for keeping our local schools open."
Many of the Governor's recommendations are from the just published Brookings Report, an analysis of the state's economy, and a report from the Maine Children's Alliance, "A Case For Cooperation," that details many needs for change in Maine's K-12 educational structure. Questions and concerns are being raised how this major change in school administration and financing will now be handled and if it will affect MSAD 46's proposed K-8 building project?
This is your chance to contribute your thoughts and ideas to a positive and supportive discussion. Everyone will get a chance to be heard. Moderator will be Dave Pearson of Dexter. For more information, please contact the library 924-7292.
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